Category Archives: Cakes

Sesame Street Birthday

Drew just turned 1! He was still in the belly for the baby celebration that I made the green onesies for from this post.

The party theme was Sesame Street, and I got to make all the treats!

Of course there had to be character cookies. I don’t have the cutters, so I made do with what I had. Cookie Monster and Elmo were created with a flower cutter and an egg cutter. For Big Bird I just bent my balloon cutter a bit to make the beak straight.

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For these characters, I knew black outlining was the way to go. It really make the features and colors pop.

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As always, I free-handed the designs. Cuz that’s how I roll.

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Last minute I decided I had to have cookie cereal to go on the cookie monster cookies. I got the idea from cupcakes like this that I’m sure just about everyone has seen at some point. It’s pretty genius whoever thought of it!

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I also made cupcakes in the same colors as the characters. Piped simple swirls, and make custom cupcake toppers.

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My husband actually made them on the computer for me and I just cut and put them together. 🙂 

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My most favorite part was the smash cake! Mama asked for it to be Cookie Monster, so I swirled it in bright blue frosting and piped the happy little face on the top.

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Then I stuck cookie cereal to the sides. 🙂

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Mama said Drew loved his cake. Once he got started, it was hard to get him to stop!

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16th Birthday Cookies & Cake Balls

Alyssah turned 16 this week! Her mom is an old coworker of mine and decided to trick her for her sweet 16. Alyssah was told that there was just no money for a birthday party this year… but in reality there was a huge surprise party planned!

We went with zebra, hot pink, and turquoise as the “theme.”

This was my first time making zebra cookies. I contemplated a few ways I could do it before settling on outlining each stripe and filling them separately.

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They came out better than I imagined, and each one was unique because I just free handed the stripes.

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The rest of the cookies were filled in hot pink and bright turquoise, with alternating mongrams, 16’s, and her name.

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Don’t they look cute together? I am in love with this set.

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Last year for Alyssah’s birthday I made these Red Velvet Cake Balls. Her mom asked for cake balls again, so this year I went with yellow cake and chocolate coating.

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I colored the chocolate coating black (or as black as I could) so that they would match the cookies. Then I drizzled the tops with turquoise and hot pink to match the cookies.

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Alyssah was so surprised at her party! Her parents told her they were going to her aunt’s house for dinner. All her friends were hiding under the tables and behind furniture so they could pop out as she walked through the door!

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Merry Christmas (Eve) friends!

Bringing this to my parents’ house for our Christmas Eve dinner. Needed something decadent because my family loves rich, heavy desserts.

I guess I am into chocolate chip cookie dough lately. I can’t help it, the stuff is so addicting! And way too easy to slap together.

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Chocolate Cookie Dough Cheesecake

Cookie Dough Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, room temperature

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup packed brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

scant 1/3 cup milk (little less than 1/3 cup)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used reg size but mini would work!)

Chocolate Cheesecake Ingredients: (adapted recipe from taste of home)

-For the crust-

1 1/3 cups crushed chocolate chip cookies (I used crunchy Chips Ahoy)

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 stick (4 tbsp) butter, melted

-For the filling-

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 (8oz) packages 1/3 less fat cream cheese

3/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp flour

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tsp vanilla

whipped cream and/or chocolate drizzle for serving (optional)

Cookie Dough Directions:

1. Beat together butter and sugars until combined. Add vanilla and milk and beat, scraping if necessary. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add flour to wet mixture until completely combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand.

2. Chill dough for about an hour to make dough easier to handle. Roll into 1″ sized dough balls, and place on a waxed paper lined cookie sheet. Place the whole pan in the freezer until balls are frozen solid.

**At this point the balls can be moved to a zip top bag and saved for later use. I actually used dough balls that had been in my freezer waiting for something spectacular to become a part of. Just make sure your roommates know not to eat them!**

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3. You will only need about 25-30 cookie dough balls for this cheesecake. Cut frozen cookie dough balls into quarters, and place back in the freezer until ready for use. (Keeping the dough absolutely frozen until baking will ensure it doesn’t bake into cookies instead of staying cookie dough.)

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Cheesecake Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350*F. Spray 9″ springform pan with non-stick spray if necessary.

2. In a small bowl, combine cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into bottom and halfway up the sides of the pan. Set aside.

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3. Microwave chocolate chips in 30 second intervals, stirring until smooth. Let cool slightly.

4. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a large bowl until smooth. Add eggs and beat until just combined. Stir in vanilla then melted chocolate by hand. Be careful not to overbeat – overbeating will cause the cheesecake to crack while cooking.

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5. Carefully fold frozen cookie dough chunks into cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared crust and smooth out the top as best as possible.

(Sorry, forgot to take a photo here, I was anxious to get it in the oven!)

6. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until top looks dry and center is almost set.

7. Cool on wire rack for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen from the pan. Let cool completely, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

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8. Remove from fridge 1-2 hours before serving. Remove springform ring and place on a cake plate or large platter. Top with whipped cream or chocolate drizzle if desired.

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20121224-211440.jpg This dessert was SO rich that most of us couldn’t finish a slice. I should have cut it into smaller slices! It’s super moist and creamy, and the cookie dough is just heavenly tucked away in the rich chocolate.

Hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas!

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Yellow Chocolate Lava Cupcakes

Have you ever had a chocolate lava cake? Basically, it’s a chocolate lover’s dream. Moist, warm, dark chocolate cake with a hot, gooey, chocolate ganache center.

This recipe was originally posted as the standard Chocolate Lava Cupcake by Ruthanne of easybaked. I just loved the idea, but I don’t like chocolate much, so I decided to switch it up.

Yellow cake and chocolate are one of the best pairings that exist in the dessert world. So why not flow that chocolate lava from yellow cake instead of more chocolate?

I hope I’ve convinced you.

Yellow Chocolate Lava Cupcakes – recipe adapted from easybaked

Ingredients

1 box yellow cake + water, eggs, and oil to make

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup cocoa powder (I used special dark)

1/2 cup dark chocolate candy melts (or semi-sweet choc. chips)

Directions

1. In a small bowl, combine heavy whipping cream and chocolate chips. Melt in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth. Refrigerate at least 2 hours, or until firm. (I left mine in the fridge for 3 days before I had time to make these.)

2. Using a tablespoon, grab a hunk of hardened ganache and roll into a small ball. Roll ball in cocoa powder and set on a wax lined baking sheet or plate. (Makes about 18-20 balls.) Leave in the fridge until ready for use.

**This step was a little messy!

3. Make cake batter according to box directions, using a little less water than the recipe calls for. (I didn’t do this, and my batter was a little too thin. You’ll see why at the end.)

4. Preheat oven to 350*.

5. Scoop or pour batter into cupcake liners to about 1/3-1/2 way. Drop a ganache ball into each cupcake.

6. Pour or scoop just enough batter over the ball to cover completely.

7. Bake according to package directions, or until tops of cupcakes are dry and spring back to the touch.

8. Melt candy melts or chocolate chips in a zip top bag for 30 seconds. Massage with your fingers until completely smooth, melting for another 15 seconds if necessary. Cut the corner of the bag and squeeze chocolate drizzle on top the cupcakes.

9. Let cool about 10 minutes, then eat one warm. TRUST ME on this.

**Best served warm. If not serving immediately, heat in the microwave for 15-20 seconds before consuming. You want the lava flowing!

My cake batter was a little too thin, so my chocolate lava ball sank completely to the bottom.

Of course this didn’t effect the taste at all, it just required the use of a spoon or fork to eat. Which worked out well because the liners I used are sturdy and held up like a cup.

Whether you’re a chocolate lover or sometimes liker, I hope these cupcakes have converted some of you to the yellow chocolate lava side!

My coworkers LOVED these.

My best and most reliable cupcake judge (hi Terrence!) said “that was reeally special.” And then he told me he has to go to the gym tonight now. Haha…

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Trick (or Treat) Cupcakes

Sooo this isn’t exactly a recipe, just an awesome idea I had that I wanted to share.

I made these cupcakes for my Halloween party over the weekend. Plain white mini cupcakes are the perfect vehicle for fun flavored frostings… and much easier than making multiple flavors of cake AND frosting.

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The TRICK here for these special Halloween cupcakes is that the flavors I used do not match the bright Halloween colors!

Tasters didn’t know what to expect from an innocent little looking cupcake… and then BAM! Surprise flavor explosion!

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The orange ones are strawberry, and the green ones are cinnamon!

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The only problem that we ended up with is that the strawberry ones had to be eaten first, otherwise the cinnamon totally overpowered your taste buds and you couldn’t taste the next one.

These were so much fun and I know I will be doing this again… it’s fun to be able to TRICK somebody with a TREAT!

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In addition to regular food, I also made Fun & Easy No-Icing Sugar Cookies, Homemade Kettle Corn, and something else that I am still perfecting, so no recipe yet…

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Cherry Chocolate Dr. Pepper Cupcakes

My coworker Apryle invented these, and I promised I would make them for her.

This is a soda cake.

I made soda cupcakes once before (Orange Soda Cupcakes), so I was excited to try a new flavor combo.

Chocolate Fudge Cake + a can of Dr. Pepper. That’s it! (Literally – no eggs, water, oil, anything. Just a can of soda.)

Bake em up for 18-20 min at 350*.

For the Cherry Frosting:

1 lb powdered sugar

1 stick (1/2 cup) salted butter

3 tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp cherry extract

red food coloring

Mix all ingredients until smooth and fluffy. Pipe or spread onto cupcakes.

My brother’s review of Apryle’s cupcake:

“The cherry is almost too overwhelming, but it works with the chocolate cupcake. The Dr. Pepper taste is subtle but it’s definitely there.”

….and Apryle’s review:

“The cherry is really sweet and the Dr. Pepper is subtle, but it was really good!”

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Favorites!!

Recently I saw another blogger (hi Hayley!) do a favorites roundup with her taste testers and I thought it would be fun to do something similar!

The people below I chose because they have tried most of what I make. I asked them to choose their favorite treat based on taste, and their favorite decorated cookies based on looks. So here we go!

Christopher is my little brother/roommate. He is a sweet-a-holic, especially when it comes to chocolate. He probably tries more treats than anyone else. His all-time favorite treat is the Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies.

Christopher’s favorite decorated cookies were the SF Giants Cookies (Here is another round of giants cookies I made).

Jeri is one of my coworkers and very good friends of my mom. She loved the Rolo Blondies

and The Lorax Cookies. I made some of these for her grandson, so she’s a little biased. 😉

Rodger is another coworker of mine. He likes all things sweet and had a hard time picking a favorite.  His favorite tasting are actually the decorated sugar cookies, but he also liked the Fireball Frosting cupcakes.

 

My Mom loved the Cake Mix Peanut Butter Brownies. Good choice Mom, those were on my top list too.

For sugar cookies, my mom picked the Unicorn Poop Cookies. They’re not exactly “decorated cookies” but I will let it slide because I think they’re pretty too. Aaaaaand it’s by far my most viewed post.

Apryle is my coworker, another good friend of my mom’s, and might just be my biggest fan. She loved so many things that we had to do a basketball style bracket to get it down to 1 item. The winner was the S’more Pops (made here and here).

The Australia Cookies were her favorites, maybe because I made them for her daughter. 🙂 (hi Mal!) Her other honorable mentions included Bubblegum MarshmallowsBubblegum CupcakesOrange Soda Cupcakes, and Chocolate Dipped Peeps.

Travis is my husband. He is picky. His world revolves around cookies of all kinds. Which is why I was surprised that his all-time favorite thing was Key Lime Pie. It was also my favorite, so I’m not going to argue. It’s unfortunate that only 6 people got to try it. I will have to make it again soon! Travis’ favorite decorated cookies are “the broken or ugly ones” because those are the only ones he’s allowed to eat. 🙂 And since there are no pictures of those tragedies, you will have to use your imagination.

Last but not least, my favorites. I don’t know how accurate this is, I had a hard time picking. I already mentioned Key Lime Pie, so I will just skip over that. I have mentioned it probably a thousand times now, but I don’t really like chocolate. Despite that, my top list includes Caramel Brownies aka Best Brownies Ever, Peanut Butter Surprise Cookies, and Cookie Dough Truffles – all which have chocolate in them!

Another favorite of mine is Funfetti Marshmallows. I love funfetti anything, but the texture of it in the mallows is just heaven.

As far as my favorite decorated cookies, I loved the Tool Cookies and the Popcorn Cookies. I also love making baby onesies. There are a lot of those so I won’t attach a million pictures. 🙂

 

That wraps up the favorites, thanks for following along and I hope you enjoyed seeing old favorites!

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Tool Cookies

Remember this baby shower? Can you believe that this little guy turned 1 already? Craziness how time flies!

Mama had a hard time coming up with a birthday theme idea, but somehow she thought of Tools! Perfect for him!

I am so in love with these cookies.

The colors were pulled from the plates she bought for the party.

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I also made the lil guy a smash cake.

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Simple and easy since it ended up like this anyway:

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Snow White Cake

This cake was made eggless for a girl with allergies. She was turning 3 and had never had cake because of her allergies.

I’m not going to post the recipe because I am not completely happy with it, but basically I used a recipe I found online for vanilla cake and substituted applesauce for the butter/shortening/oil part of the recipe, and there were no eggs.

I just wanted to share because I liked how the decorating part turned out.

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Glad she enjoyed it!

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Blue’s Clues Party

The baby that was in the belly at this baby shower (more treats here) just turned 1!

Blue’s Clues was the theme, so we made lots of blue sweet treats!

Of course there had to be cookies. These were bagged and used as favors.

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I made cake pops, but we wanted them to have puppy paws on them. I came up with the idea of using an oreo pop mold that I found online. I will definitely be using this technique again!

I did the paw print darker blue. I squeezed candy melts into the paw print, then tapped the tray to settle it into the mold. This also helped get all the air bubbles out. Tapping is key! Then I put these in the fridge for a few minutes to harden up.

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With the lighter blue I squeezed a layer across the bottom of the mold. Then tap tap tap!

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I mixed up the cake pop dough like normal, but instead of rolling it into balls I flatted it into a thick pancake and cut circles out of it with a circle cookie cutter. Then I just dropped a disk of cake into each mold and gently pressed it into the candy melts.

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Then I just squeezed more candy melts around the cake and across the top, tapped it against the counter, and popped it into the fridge to harden up.

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Once they had hardened completely (maybe 20 minutes?) they came out of the molds really easily.

Look how fancy they look!!

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I also made the little guy his very own smash cake… that will be forthcoming!

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